Gang Gang Dance
The arc and trajectory on which Gang Gang Dance has propelled themselves since their inception can only be described in terms of evolution. Five individuals with strong ties to the art community and almost boundless creative energy orienting themselves into a musical collaboration, the direction of which is almost as unpredictable as it is focused. It can be said that Gang Gang Dance grew out of the turn of the century Null New York scene, as various members played or worked with such outfits as The Cranium, Actress, Russia, SSAB Songs and Jackie-O Motherfucker. The genesis of the band was very much collaborative in nature with Brian Degraw, Tim Dewit, Lizzie Bougatsos, Nathan Maddox and Josh Diamond experimenting in tiny practice spaces and only somewhat larger public venues with various other musicians peripherally involved. At this point the band was called Death & Dying, but by 2001 or 2002 the GGD moniker had been embraced. A trip out to a studio in Kentucky and a few long nights in a tiny studio in Chinatown birthed the 40 minutes that would become their first self-titled full length. Tragically, in 2002 Nathan was struck by lightning and killed while watching a storm on the roof of his apartment building. By 2003 the band had refined the tribal-futurism sound which they had been working with to itís purest form. In October Revival Of The Shittest was cut together and released on The Social Registry, first in a limited CDR edition of only 100. The release of their first full-length followed. The band was playing to packed clubs in NYC, exploding on stage, often passing out drums and flutes to audience members, their sound one of perfectly controlled havoc. Through the spring and summer of 2004 they began to resurface, often unannounced, with new material that found them preoccupied more than ever before with song writing & dynamics. The live performances were untouchable; bombastic and structured yet still resonating perfectly upon those innate elements of the psyche that their music had been playing to in the earlier years. By the close of 2004 they had played with Slint & Sonic Youth, toured with Animal Collective, cut together and released Hillulah, a live cdep, and tracked most of the material that would become their second full-length Godís Money. With Godís Money set to be released in April the band headed to out play the Vincent Gallo curated All Tomorrows Parties in March of 2005, doing a short tour of Europe which found them playing both Portuguese punk clubs and museum atriums. A proper tour of North America was embarked upon with Blood Lines, an outfit built around the other two members of Tim & Brianís first band The Cranium. A riot was started in Seattle, members of the press found a new band to champion, and they ended their tour with a legendary outdoor performance on Spring Street in New York City. By the end of 2005 the band had also toured in Australia and Japan. In June of 2007 Gang Gang Dance followed up their constant touring and the critical success of Godís Money with Retina Riddim, a multimedia project which consisted of a 33 minute art film and a 20-minute audio collage both of which were drawn from the bandís archives of their activities from 2005 to 2006 and authored by band member Brian Degraw. The release showed the bandís willingness to embrace all aspects of the their creative nature as well as their ambition to work out of the standard preconceived notions of the music industry. This release was followed in September of 2007 by RAWWAR, a three track EP culled together from material recorded earlier in the year, and hinted at the direction the bands vision was taking. Even more based in classic song structure than Godís Money it featured songs that showed the pop potential of the bandís sound while maintaining their firm commitment to pushing the boundaries of musical convention. Gang Gang Danceís ambition did not go unnoticed through 2007 as they were approached by The Whitney Museam of Contemporary Art to be included in their 2008 biennial, an offer rarely extended to musicians. For the exhibition, the four again chose to incorperate visual manipulation into their performance; utilizing film projections, a number of participants dressed in ceremonial masks Ė all elements combining to create a spectacle that was by all accounts breathtaking. Throughout 2007 and early 2008 Gang Gang Dance continued work on a new full-length studio album, Saint Dymphna, to be released in October of 2008. The album takes an even dancier, inclusive direction that continues to emphasize the ritualistic elements of their music. It features a guest appearance from UK Grime artist Tinchy Stryder and represents the most fully realized work by the band.. Saint Dymphna will be preceded by a single, House Jam, that will feature a remix of the track by Hot Chip. After the recording for Saint Dymphna was finished Tim Dewit decided to take a break from his duties in Gang Gang Dance to work on other projects. In his absence the band have bought in Jesse Lee on drums.